The Do’s and Don’ts of Product Manufacturing
Every year, about 30,000 new products appear in the market. Not all these new products succeed. Many of them fail because their manufacturing processes have flaws.
In this article, we will cover the dos and don’ts of product manufacturing. These tips can help you avoid common pitfalls and ensure that your product meets your specifications. Keep reading to get the details.
Do Confirm if Global Sourcing Is Right for You
Before choosing a manufacturing partner, learn how global sourcing works so you can make an informed decision.
The biggest pro of global sourcing is that it saves you time and money. Instead of having to build up your production facilities from scratch, you can use existing companies. They will already have all the necessary equipment for manufacturing your product.
There’s also a downside to global sourcing. You’ll have less control over the quality of your product.
Because foreign manufacturers are far away, you won’t be able to supervise the manufacturing process. This can lead to expensive mistakes.
Consider the benefits and disadvantages of global sourcing before you decide to go this route. If you’re still unsure, consider using a contract manufacturer instead.
Don’t Forget to Consult Your Team
Before you commit to a manufacturer, it’s important to speak with your team. This includes your designer and any other stakeholders. You should also speak with your business partner to make sure they’re on board with the decision as well.
If you’re working with a designer who has experience in global sourcing, they’ll be able to give you advice on which manufacturers are the best fit for your brand.
You should also consider bringing in a consultant to help you make this decision. A consultant will provide an objective opinion. They can advise you on the best course of action.
Do the Research on the Company You Plan to Work With
Before you start any work with your product partner, make sure they’re a good fit for you. Research the company, its past products, and any future developments they’re planning.
Check out their website, review their services, and look for any reviews on social media sites. Find out if the manufacturer has experience working with customers in your industry. This is especially important if you’re looking for a manufacturer of niche products.
If you can’t find anything that makes them stand out from their competition, consider working with someone else.
Do Have Someone Visit a Potential Partner
Visiting a potential partner is a great way to get a feel for their operation. You also get to scan their facilities. It’ll be easy to see if they have the equipment you need.
There’s also a chance for you to build a face-to-face relationship with the team you’ll be working with. A good rapport with your manufacturer will maximize your chances of receiving first-rate items.
Visiting also allows you to get a sense of their communication skills. Some countries, like China, still keep their travel restrictions. If you can’t visit them in person, call them on the phone, or have a 3rd-party to check out for you.
Do Have an Audit Process
You should have an audit process in place to ensure quality. You can do this by having a third-party audit your product, or you can do it yourself. Some manufacturers will also conduct audits on their own.
The audit should be standardized and repeatable. This will ensure consistency between audits and make it easier to identify issues.
Don’t Assume That You Know Everything About Manufacturing
It’s easy to become overconfident when you think you know everything about your product. The manufacturer has a better idea of what goes into making your product than you would.
They’ll know how many steps are involved, how long each step takes, and how much labor is required. You may think the finished product should look a certain way, but it might not be as simple as that.
The manufacturer will have an opinion on the best way to make your product. It’s important that you listen to them. If they suggest a change that improves quality or efficiency, consider implementing it.
Do Know Who Owns the Intellectual Property Rights
When manufacturing products overseas, it’s important that you own the intellectual property rights. You can prevent others from copying your design and selling it themselves.
Before manufacturing your product, register your IP with a patent office. This will give you legal protection against imitators who try to sell a copycat version of what you’re making.
Don’t Sign a Contract Without Reading It
You should always get a contract before working with a manufacturer. The contract will outline the responsibilities of both parties and specify important details, like payment terms, for example.
It’s important to read the contract carefully. Make sure it includes all of your specifications and requirements, as well as any disclaimers or exclusions.
Do Double Your Budget
If you’re working with manufacturers overseas, the cost of shipping your products can add up quickly. You’ll have to factor this into your budget.
The best way to lower shipping fees is by having everything manufactured, stored, and shipped from one place. Your manufacturer would have to provide warehousing services for this to be possible.
Don’t Base Your Decision on Price Alone
It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of finding a manufacturer that will make your product at a cheaper rate than you expected. However, what’s more important is whether they can meet your quality requirements.
Price is always relative. If you find a manufacturer that charges more than your initial budget, think about whether their quality of work is worth the additional cost.
Do Factor in Delays
It’s important to remember that delays are inevitable when shipping products. Weather, holidays, and weekends can all contribute to the delay of your product delivery. You should factor these delays into your timeline so that you don’t miss any of your deadlines.
Don’t Forget to Have a Contingency Plan
No matter how thorough your research and planning are, there are always going to be bumps in the road when working with a manufacturing company. You need to prepare yourself for these potential scenarios:
- The quality of your product doesn’t meet your expectations
- Your manufacturer doesn’t deliver on time
- Prices increase
- Raw materials are low in supply
You will need to have a contingency plan in place so that you can mitigate these problems. For example, if your manufacturer is going to be late on delivery, find a carrier. This will ensure that your product gets to its destination on time.
Do Understand Quality Assurance Procedures
You’ll want to make sure that your manufacturer can provide reliable documentation on their quality control processes. There should be clear documentation of the process that your product goes through, including test results and inspection reports. You should also get a sample of your product from the manufacturer to make sure that they’re meeting your quality standards.
Do Get Your Product Tested
You should have your product tested and certified by a third party before it leaves the factory. This will ensure that your product meets international standards and is safe for use.
Also, test the product yourself before it goes on the market. You don’t want to find out later that your product is defective or dangerous. By testing it yourself, you can catch these issues before they become a problem for consumers.
Don’t Forget to Check the Manufacturer’s Experience
Always review the experience level of your manufacturer. If they have a new factory, they might not have the resources to meet your quality requirements. Consider their reputation and the size of their company before making a decision.
Do Choose a Country With Low Labor Costs
As you look at countries where your product will be manufactured, it’s important to choose one that offers low labor costs. This can save you a lot of money.
Choosing China for product development is often a good choice for small and large orders. They have some of the lowest labor costs in the world but also maintain high levels of quality control.
Don’t Pick a Manufacturer Who Doesn’t Speak Your Language
Communication is one of the most important components of a successful business. If you can’t communicate with your manufacturer, you’re going to have a hard time building and maintaining trust with them. You want your expectations to be received and understood in a way that works for both parties.
This doesn’t mean that the manufacturer has to be a native English speaker. They just need to communicate effectively in your language.
If you’re working with someone who doesn’t speak your native tongue, choose a manufacturer who works with translators and interpreters. These roles can help bridge the communications gap between you and your product partner.
Do Check Their Certifications
Make sure that the manufacturer you hire is certified in the manufacturing process. This includes credentials from organizations, such as ISO certifications. These organizations ensure that your product is manufactured safely and reliably.
This is important for your company’s reputation and your customers’ safety.
Don’t Ignore the Importance of Safety
You may want a price break, but don’t cut corners on safety. This means ensuring that your product partner has quality control systems in place for their employees. This includes making sure that their facilities are clean and free of contaminants.
You also want to make sure that their employees have the proper training for the equipment they’ll be using to make your products.
Do Calculate the Production Cost per Item
The cost per item will depend on the number of items produced. You can calculate it by dividing the total production cost by the number of items produced.
For example, suppose you manufacture 100 units for a production cost of $1,000. If you divide this $1,000 by 100, then you get a total cost per unit of $10.
You can then compare this number with the price you want to charge for your product. If it’s too high, then you may need to cut back on some of your production costs or look into finding a cheaper manufacturer.
Don’t Neglect to Get a Prototype Assembly
A prototype offers many benefits. It will help you get a better understanding of your product and identify any potential issues. Once you find these problems, you can correct them before they become too costly to fix later.
You should also order a prototype so you can test your product. The more time spent testing the product in advance, the fewer problems there are likely going to be when it comes time for mass production.
Do Get a Non-Disclosure Agreement
A non-disclosure agreement is a legal contract that prevents any parties involved in your project from disclosing certain information about the project. This can include anything from product plans to pricing and marketing strategies.
Non-disclosure agreements ensure confidentiality and safety. Team members can’t release sensitive information to others who might wish to use it against you.
Don’t Manufacture Several New Products at Once
When you’re manufacturing a new product, it can be tempting to think about creating other items and getting them on store shelves as well. This is a mistake. Manufacturing multiple products at once will only slow down your production schedule.
Focus on perfecting one product at a time until it’s ready for the market. That way, you can stick to your timeline and keep your costs down.
Partner With a Forward-Thinking Product Manufacturing Company
The process of product manufacturing can be quite complex, so it’s essential to partner with the right company. Use an experienced manufacturer that can help you with product design, prototyping and testing, as well as mass production.
Shipping and logistics are also important aspects of production. Work with a company that can handle all of your shipping needs.
Shield Works Precision Manufacturing Co. can help you bring your product to life. We’re a full-service contract manufacturer in China that also offers warehousing and shipping. Contact us today to learn more about our services.